NFL Totals Betting: Week 4 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 9/28/2011
It has been feast or famine with the ‘total’ bet in the first three weeks of the NFL regular season. Points were plentiful the first two weeks with 23 of the 32 games going ‘over’ the total. Week 3 saw a dramatic shift the other way with 10 of the 16 games staying ‘under’. For the third week in a row our ‘best bets’ stayed ahead of the curve to bring our year-to-date record to 6-3.
The oddsmakers will continue to try and sharpen the lines in an attempt to balance out these wild swings, but there is always value to be found when betting NFL totals if you know where to look. The following are this week’s best bets for NFL totals betting with NFL odds provided by BetOnline.
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bills are one of the early surprises this season with a perfect 3-0 start, but how they got there is even more amazing than the record itself. They lead the NFL in scoring with 113 points, but 80 of their points have come in the second half, including two furious come-from-behind victories.
Cincinnati is off to a predictable 1-2 start, but its offense behind rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has managed to score 57 points, which is actually three more than its defense has given up. Running back Cedric Benson may have to begin serving his three-game suspension this week, which would force Dalton to put the ball in the air even more than he already has.
The opening line has held steady, which is actually a good sign that this one is right on the money. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of Buffalo’s last five games on the road and in four of its last five games played in Cincinnati. The way the Bills have been putting points on the board, they have a good chance to roll up close to 40 of their own in this one.
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys
The Lions are the other big surprise in the NFL so far with a 3-0 start after a huge come-from-behind win of their own last week. After spotting Minnesota a 20-0 lead at the half, they roared back with 26 points to win by three in overtime. They are currently fourth in the league in scoring with an average of 33.7 points a game.
Dallas has had to scratch and scrape its way to a 2-1 start, but along the way, quarterback Tony Romo has gained a ton of confidence after giving away the season opener to the New York Jets on a pair of untimely turnovers. The problem with the Cowboys is that their offense remains pretty banged-up with Miles Austin out with a strained hamstring and Felix Jones nursing a sore shoulder.
The total line has come down a bit since opening at 46.5 which is exactly the direction we want. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of Detroit’s last five road games and in all five of its games following an ATS loss. The total has gone ‘over’ in nine of Dallas’s last 10 games at home and in five of the last six meetings between these two teams.
Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs
The good news for this matchup is, barring a tie, one of these teams will walk away with its first straight-up win of the year. The Vikings would be 3-0 if the games were only two quarters long. They blew a 17-0 lead over Tampa Bay and the 20-point lead over the Lions and have managed to score a total of six points in the second half this season.
The Chiefs have been bad for the entire four quarters of their first three games, getting out-scored by a combined 82 points. They are ranked dead-last in the league in scoring with an average of just nine points per game. They lost their running game when Jamaal Charles went down for the season and Matt Cassel has thrown two more interceptions than touchdowns.
The line on this game has trended slightly downward since opening at 40, but it is still high enough for this matchup. The total has stayed ‘under’ in Minnesota’s last five games on the road and in five of Kansas City’s last seven games at home.
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